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 In my many years of decorating homes, styling retail displays, 
and selling vintage & re-purposed items,
my favorite 'tool' has always been PAINT...
it's inexpensive, it's easy to work with,
and it can completely transform an old or salvaged object easier than anything else. 

Paint is also a handy tool for us girls who like to change up our decor a lot...
Case in point: the metal floral chandelier shown below.

I bought it in 1996, when it was the original multi-color painted finish = UGLEEEEEE!
Over the years that I owned it, I painted and RE-painted it MANY colors:
green, pink, black, green again, white, yellow, gold, black again, silver, and white again.

And WHITE paint is the one simple color that seems to have the most magical powers!

Taking an old, ugly, dated brass chandelier / light fixture and turning it into something beautiful
is really easy with white paint:
Those chandeliers were originally, from left to right: brass . black metal . brass
[and the one shown at the top of this post was muddy brown/beige]

White paint, used with a light hand, can also bring an old wood finish back to life,
lightening it up without covering the lovely details...
using a simple 'dry brush' whitewashing paint technique, 
an old plank table and pine country chairs are ready for their new starring roles:
[the new burlap seat cover helps update the chairs, too...]
Another example of 'dry-brush' painting is shown on this old front door...
The salvaged front door had a horribly damaged wood finish, with peeling clear lacquer.
Sanding the worn finish down and dry-brushing white in several coats all over the door
caused the relief carving of a sailing ship to really pop.

The door was then re-fashioned into a hall bench and coatrack,
by using an end table and chair arms for the seat, 
a piece of crown molding on the top of the door,
and three perfectly-placed ceramic knobs as coat hooks.
[piece created by my late husband for our former business]

A coat of white paint can transform the mood and style of a piece of furniture:
This giant bench was made from a salvaged king-sized black headboard and footboard,
along with a seat from a church pew.
 [ piece created by my late husband for our former business].
It looked very contemporary and masculine in the original black color - 
but was completely changed when  repainted in a warm white.  
It embraced a soft, feminine Shabby Chic style!

Small items can be reborn with a spray of white paint, too -
this gathering of old and new glass bottles went from dingy to hip!

... and sometimes, a whole BUILDING can be revitalized with a wash of white paint:
My weekend garden house makeover project 
was featured on HOMEWARDfound last spring...
see it HERE

If you don't already know about this paint trick, I'll clue you in:
Head to the paint store or paint department at the hardware store.
Ask them for 'mis-tints'. 
These are the colors that turned out WRONG.
You can pick up those babies for pennies on the dollar! 
 ...and yes, you CAN find whites!

I highly recommend Habitat for Humanity ReStore as a source for inexpensive paint!

shared online:
Funky Junk Interiors | Salvaged Whites


  1. Very pretty stuff!! Lots of inspiration in these pictures!

  2. Beautiful examples - white does make everything look so fresh and pretty again!

    1. Thank you so much, Anne! White is easy. And I like easy! ;)